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The Art of Breaking Things
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The Art of Breaking Things
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In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson and Sara Zarr, one girl embraces the power of her voice: rules are meant to be broken and she won't stay silent.Weekends are for partying with friends while...
In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson and Sara Zarr, one girl embraces the power of her voice: rules are meant to be broken and she won't stay silent.Weekends are for partying with friends while...
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  • In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson and Sara Zarr, one girl embraces the power of her voice: rules are meant to be broken and she won't stay silent.

    Weekends are for partying with friends while trying to survive the mindnumbingness that is high school. The countdown to graduation is on, and Skye has her sights set on escaping to art school and not looking back.

    But her party-first-ask-questions-later lifestyle starts to crumble when her mom rekindles her romance with the man who betrayed Skye's boundaries when he was supposed to be protecting her. She was too young to understand what was happening at the time, but now she doesn't know whether to run as far away from him as possible or give up her dreams to save her little sister. The only problem is that no one knows what he did to her. How can she reveal the secret she's guarded for so long?

    With the help of her best friend and the only boy she's ever trusted, Skye might just find the courage she needs to let her art speak for her when she's out of words. After years of hiding her past, she must become her own best ally.
 

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  • Kirkus

    April 1, 2019
    Does 17-year-old Skye Murray break things because she is broken, or are these fractures the only way she can try to fix the damage of her past? Skye breaks her mother's rules, betrays her younger sister Emma's trust, and disappoints her art teacher's expectations, all because she's trying to deal with the fallout of an event that happened when she was 12 years old. Her only healthy way of coping is making art, although she often chooses to get high or hook up with boys instead. Despite her strong support system, which includes best friend Luisa; art buddy Ben (who sometimes feels like more than a buddy); single, hardworking mother; and spirited sister, Skye often feels like she doesn't belong. Her only ticket out of her small town near Philadelphia hangs on a scholarship to the Maryland Institute College of Art. Skye knows she grew up too fast and she's doing her best to make sure that doesn't happen to Emma. But when her mother's ex-boyfriend re-enters their family, Skye is unsure whether she'll be able to protect herself, let alone Emma. All characters are assumed white. In this moving debut, Sibson has created a flawed and likable narrator who attempts to work through cause and effect, shame and secrecy, avoidance and obligation. With layered nuance, the novel brings to light the impact of sexual assault and the importance of consent. A somber yet triumphant tale of family and fortitude. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    May 17, 2019

    Gr 10 Up-Sibson's debut novel explores the cracks that form following the unspeakable betrayal of a family member. When Skye was 11, her mother's boyfriend molested her, tearing a rift between Skye and her family and setting her down a path of drinking, drugs, and sex as self-harm. Now a senior in high school, Skye knows her future hinges on securing a scholarship to art school, but her life spirals further out of control as her mother's boyfriend reenters their lives, forcing Skye to confront the damage he caused and the threat he still poses. Beautifully written and informative without being preachy, this book delves into a truly disturbing and common issue. Sibson has tapped into the teenage perspective and language in a way that feels natural and authentic, which is important when dealing with subject matter as heavy as this. VERDICT This moving story is recommended for mature fans of realistic fiction such as Thirteen Reasons Why.-Emily Grace Le May, Williams School, New London, CT

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    April 15, 2019
    Grades 9-12 Skye is a talented artist who can't wait to attend art school after graduation. In the meantime, she loves making art, getting stoned, and partying with her friends. When Skye's mother's ex-boyfriend, Dan, a sleazeball in academic clothing, comes back into her world, Skye doesn't know what to do. Dan is demanding and critical, and his presence chafes against the damage he inflicted on Skye when she was 12. As a result, Skye feels the need to abandon her scholarship and shield her 12-year-old sister. Facing the truth she's suppressed since that night while camping, Skye is empowered and sheds the guilt she's carried for years. Sibson's beautiful debut runs the gamut of emotions, allowing her protagonist to fail and make bad choices without judgement, so that Skye can find the courage to positively use her voice. In this realistic, heartrending portrayal of the lasting harm caused by sexual abuse, Skye's memories are parsed out, giving her space to explore the conflicting emotions and questions they incur. Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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